Sheikhs have case to answer – court

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Leader of the Tabliq Sect Sheikh Yunus Kamoga and 13 other Muslim clerics have a case to answer in the trial for alleged murder of rival Muslim leaders about two years ago.
The High Court’s International Crimes Division yesterday ruled that all the accused persons will have to defend themselves against the charges.

Reading out the ruling, Justice Ezekiel Muhanguzi, the lead judge on the three-member panel, observed that the prosecution had adduced sufficient evidence to warrant each of the accused persons to defend themselves in the case.

“The prosecution has established a prema-facie case against each of the accused in respect of each of the four counts,” Justice Muhanguzi stated in the unanimous ruling.

“Consequently, court passing on section 73 (2) of the Trial and Indictments Act, hereby informs the accused persons of their rights to give evidence on his or her own behalf, make unsworn statement or to call witnesses in his or her defence. That is the ruling,” he added.

After the ruling, the defence lawyers represented by Fred Muwema, told court that they needed more time to consult their clients on how they would give their defence.

Court adjourned the trial to April 25 for the accused to start their defend. They were returned to Luzira and Kigo prisons respectively for further remand.

“Upon the agreement of the defence and the prosecution, the hearing of this case for defence is hereby adjourned to April 25, 2017 at 9am. The accused persons are remanded until then,” the court ordered.

The other accused persons charged alongside Sheikh Kamoga include Sheikh Siraje Kawooya, Abdulsalam, Abdulhamid Sematimba, Rashid Jingo, Twaha Sekkitto, Yusuf Kakande alias Abdallah, Sheikh Murta Mudde Bukenya, Kakim Kinene Muswaswa, Muzamilu Kasawuli, Arafa Serunjoji alias Bukenya, Badru Bukenya, Alex Okot, Joseph Olanya, and Amir Kenene.

It’s alleged the 14 suspects masterminded the coordinated assassinations of rival Muslim leaders who included Mustafa Bahiga who was gunned down at Bwebajja Mosque. Other are Sheikh Hassan Kirya, who was shot dead in Bweyogerere suburb in Wakiso District.

The suspects are charged with murder, terrorism, crimes against humanity and attempted murder.

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